How can a finite being commit a sin worthy of eternal punishment? I have been accustomed to giving an answer along the lines that because God is infinite, any sin against him is an infinite sin, any failure to give him the glory he is due is to rob him of an infinity of glory, and thus to commit an infinite sin, and that an infinite sin is worthy of likewise infinite punishment.
If our failure to give God infinite glory is a sin, then how can any finite being but sin? The question that follows from the above answer is this: "how can a finite being give an infinite amount of glory to anyone?" We do not have an infinite amount of glory to give. But God does. God has expressed his glory in creation, and when we say that each part of creation is glorious, and credit that glory to God, and not to creation in and of itself, then we are still only giving God the glory that we can ascribe back to him that he has shown us, and he has not shown us all of his infinite glory, so we still cannot glorify him infinitely.
Yes, we can say, "God is infinitely glorious," but can we truly ascribe to him infinite glory? Is it even hypothetically possible? Is there a way to conceive of Adam and Eve ascribing infinite glory to God before eating the fruit? To say God is most glorious, and to live in such a way that says the same, would be to ascribe the most glory to God. Is it possible to prove that the most glorious thing must be infinitely glorious, then?
He is omnipresent because otherwise where is was not would cease to be.
He is omniscient because in him is all that is true.
He is omnipotent because he made all things.
He is omnibenevolent because to be otherwise would be to deceive, and the creator cannot deceive.
He is all happy, in and of himself, because otherwise he would be dependent on some other for his happiness
But these are "all"s, not "infinite"s, and besides, none of those are his glory. Right? Well, wrong, actually. His omnipresence is an infinite presence, because otherwise there would be a "beyond God" which would thus not be sustained by God, and thus cease to be. As an infinite being, there is an infinity of things to know about him, and therefore his knowledge of all truth is a knowledge of an infinite number of truths. His omnipotence is infinite potency, because otherwise there would be some thing that he could not do, and therefore he would not be all powerful, but all powerful except that thing that makes him not infinitely powerful. He is infinitely good and happy for similar reasons as he is infinitely powerful. Now, his glory, or worth, consists in these things, i.e., his infinite knowledge (omniscience), infinite goodness (omnibenevolence), and infinite happiness in and of himself (See Edwards, The End for Which God Created the World).
Therefore, as finite beings, we ought to ascribe to God all the glory we are capable of ascribing to him, both by our words, our deeds, and our thoughts. To do otherwise is to say that some other is infinitely glorious and therefore God, and thus to say that God has some amount of glory that is less than infinite. This is to ascribe infinitely less glory to him than he deserves, and thus to commit an infinite sin. Sin is worthy of judgement in respect to how great the sin is, therefore an infinite sin is worthy of infinite judgement, and, as we are finite, we may not bear that judgement all at once, but must bear over time. The punishment being infinite, and our being able to bear only a finite amount at a time, it thus takes an infinite amount of time for us to bear the judgement of our sins.